Texas Gov. Rick Perry warned that people in his state could become so frustrated with the federal government that they could demand that Texas secede from the union.
Speaking at a rally at Austin City Hall on Wednesday — “Tax Day” — Perry charged that Washington officials have abandoned the nation’s founding principles of limited government and said the federal government is burdening Americans with taxation and debt, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Republican said when Texas, an independent republic, entered the union in 1845, it was with the understanding that it could secede — a right held by no other state.
Some in the flag-waving crowd at the rally chanted “secede!”
Perry said: “Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.
“We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what might come out of that.”
Despite Perry’s comment, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission says Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point, but not the right to secede.
Perry spurned $550 million in federal economic stimulus money aimed at aiding the state’s unemployment trust fund, saying the money would come with strings attached that would force Texas to pick up the tab if the federal money ran out.
He said on Wednesday that his state’s economy is in relatively good shape compared with other states and with the “federal budget mess,” according to the News.
Perry is up for re-election next year and faces a challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a fellow Republican. Larry Kilgore, who ran against Perry in 2006 and is expected to run again in 2010, advocates the secession of Texas from the United States.
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